My name is Solo
That's my big head in the background!
I was born in the outer-city area of La Guyane, South America.
My childhood consisted of a 30-minute walk to school and back home.
Absolutely loved it! It was the only reality I knew when you're from back home walking to school is a norm.
From a young age, I would spend 99% of my day outside running around barefoot and chasing wild adventures.
Although we did not have much, these were the best days of my life.
If you've ever been to Cuba or Barbados to name a few, you would have noticed the contagious Caribbean hospitality of simplicity and a relaxing laid-back lifestyle that is hardly seen in the UK.
This is how we are in La Guyane, in my small community where you may literally leave your door open during the day.
The recognised name for my country is French Guiana, but the actual name is La Guyane in French (it's simple to say in English, so I'm not sure who changed it and why).
A perfect example of the "La Guyane outer-city slum"
Trust me, it's not as bad as it looks. We all had one thing in common, a mutual love for each other.
When was the last time your neighbour spontaneously invited you over for Sunday dinner?
In my community this was normal.
Years later I relocated to the UK with my family but due to a significant family loss, I ended up living in a Children's Care Home in London.
To this day, I still find it difficult to come to terms with the journey life has taken me on, sometimes questioning why me?
I've lost track of the many times I stared in the mirror trying to force myself to smile, whenever I wake up thinking about my family.
If you come from a similar walk of life, you might agree that certain things you experience in life will certainly impact the way you see the world.
It is as though everything is filtered through a very specific lense.
From the age of 16, I have been living independently, so I have learned to rely solely on myself... but "no man is an Island".
I have always been determined to create a better life for myself.
Even if that meant sacrificing a few years of my life working relentlessly, day and night.
I graduated from UCL with honours in Software Engineering.
I had the opportunity to explore my career options with a few tech companies but still felt like I did not belong.
That’s when I made the huge life-changing decision to sacrifice everything for Forever.
During this time that I have spent working on Forever, I have learned so much about myself.
I am a functioning work addict at best, and I don't feel comfortable unless I'm working on 5 or 6 different projects simultaneously.
I guess you could say it distracts me from some of the things I don't want to think about (typical me), but I can honestly say I enjoy the work that I am doing.
Having lived a life where I’ve had to solely depend on myself, I sometimes don’t know how to react when people are kind and offer to help, as it is not something I am used to.
But over the last few months, we have received an overwhelming amount of support from people who are rooting for Forever.
This has truly humbled me.
For the first time in my life, my only focus is on Forever, building this startup has been the most blissful healing process of my life.
I finally feel that I am exactly where I need to be.
I dream of using my position to inspire and help young people who come from a similar walk of life as me, and including those who may currently be on the edge of society as I once was.
I am sharing this with you because of the surge in requests from supporters, from our Instagram @ForeverCaribbeanRum, who want to know a little bit more about the Founder of Forever.
Well as of today, you officially know more about me than most people in my life. Hopefully, this gives you a little glimpse into the tenacity that gave birth to Forever.
Thank you for the support from our small team, who further insisted on the need for me to do a mini-bio. I am a super private person, so you can imagine the amount of convincing it took for me to publish this.
And I am glad I did, I feel a little weight off my shoulder for some reason.